Mental Health Check-In, Resources, and Tips for a Post-COVID world
We’ve been stuck inside, wearing masks, working from home, and avoiding other people for around a year now and even though we’ve heard ‘New Normal’ a million times, does anyone know what that will look like?
Personally, I’m excited about playdates and sending my little one off to sleepovers. But how will we, the parents cope with a new fuller timetable?
What about the kids who have gotten used to playing, learning, and staying at home all day every day? They’re going to experience a long-forgotten world of excitement
From swimming classes, drop-in play centres, kids’ birthday parties, and soccer practice, there’s a new world of opportunities that we may have to ease back into. And for the grown-ups, how do we find balance with our work-life mix plus going back into our old haunts, bars, gyms, and even planning vacations in *gasp* other countries! Or, have we just resigned ourselves to a quiet life where we might pop out for a meal but a ‘big night out’ has fallen out of style?
And don’t forget the many local businesses who had to close down from the lack of customers or having to shut their doors to keep everyone safe. Will they re-open or will there be a new trend of ‘Chillout bars’ and quiet reading corners with comfortable seating for people who now find crowds anxiety-inducing?
Younger kids will be as adaptable as ever, revelling in their new landscape of seeing and touching their friends without repercussion and immediate sanitization. Of course, they’ll get overtired, over-stimulated, and need plenty of breaks to reset and refuel. It’s the older children and young adults who, in their formative years have experienced a new way of life and developed new habits. Staying indoors, maintaining virtual relationships, and changing how they talk to their peers. Adults that once enjoyed a more flexible social life may either go back to their old busy diary of brunches and coffee dates and run a risk of overdoing it all, while some have a new-found overwhelming fear of large groups.
Honestly, I don’t know how it’s going to be. I may just go right back into the old way of things where I don’t have to give the side-eye to anyone with a fully visible face. It sure will be a welcome break where the question of weekend family activities provides more than a couple of options.
Tips for Returning to Work Post-COVID
- Take it slow. Feeling overwhelmed? Have a break
- Working at home has become a viable option for more businesses. Find an office/home timetable balance
- Check-in with yourself and your friends. How are you feeling?
- Going back to commuting? Don’t get overtired. Bring a snack, listen to your body. If you’re getting tired from a long drive, have a break instead of pushing through.
- If you’re managing people, allow them time to readjust and be honest. It’s ok to not be ok.
- Be sensitive around how your lockdown was. Some people had a really, really tough time with it
- Keep up the general hygiene. Avoid the communal birthday cake left in the lunchroom, wash your hands, keep your desk tidy, and if you feel in any way ill or slightly sick, STAY HOME.
Whatever we want to call the last 12+ months of our lives, whenever and however everything starts to open up during the Summer of 2021 (hopefully), it’s an opportunity to take things slowly and transition into better times. Check in with yourself, keep tabs on your mental health, ask for help when you need it and experience a new level of gratitude for the many things we took for granted before it was all taken away last March.
Apps for Mental Health, Stress Relief, and Meditation – 2021 List
- General Mood Help: Moodfit
- Learning Coping Skills: MoodMission
- Therapy: Talkspace
- Stress Relief: Sanvello
- Meditation: Headspace
- Fun App: Happify
- Depression: Depression CBT Self-Help Guide
- BIPOC: Shine
Resources for Finding Help
To search for all available services in the British Columbia, use the HealthLinkBC Directory. If you need help finding a service or a resource, call 8-1-1 any time of the day, any day of the year.
The Crisis Intervention and Suicide Prevention Centre of BC (Crisis Centre) is a non-profit, volunteer organization committed to helping people help themselves and others deal with crisis. Their services include a 24/7 distress phone line, online distress services and community education. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call 1-800-784-2433 (1-800-SUICIDE).
Foundrybc.ca offers health and wellness resources, services and supports for young people ages 12-24 across BC.
Kids Help Phone is a toll-free, 24-hour, phone counselling, web counselling, and referral service for children and youth. The service is completely anonymous and confidential. To speak to a counsellor, call 1-800-668-6868.
Other useful websites:
- First Nations Health Authority: Mental Wellness and Substance Use
- Fraser Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Interior Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Island Health: Mental Health and Substance Use
- Northern Health: Mental Health & Substance Use
- Provincial Health Services Authority: BC Mental Health & Substance Use Services
- Vancouver Coastal Health: Mental Health and Substance Use